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Sunday, September 27, 2015

What's for Dinner?

Customarily, we go to school or work and take care of our many tasks for the day. When we get home at the end of a long day, dinner is one of those welcomed moments to unwind and refresh. We can sit at the table with our family or friends and talk; and our bodies can receive some nourishment. Dinner is usually the biggest meal and it should definitely be good. When I was a child coming home from school, I wanted to know what was for dinner. I'd come in the door trying to smell what was for dinner. Once I became the one to cook the dinner for my own family, I still found myself asking the question, what's for dinner? I was asking myself this question because it helped me to figure out what to cook. I wanted to cook a delicious meal that would put you to sleep afterwards; and I definitely had to have something sweet to go along with the meal. A meat, a starch and a vegetable. That was a complete collaboration of foods to give the body the fuel it needed. Having a slice of pie afterwards simply sealed the deal on a 2 hour nap.

I discovered that it is equally important for our minds to receive nourishment. While the health of our minds should always be in a great place, there are times when we simply need to refresh our mindset, pour into ourselves a hearty dinner for our minds. Feed our brains. Give our minds a complete mental meal. So lets ask the question, what's for dinner? Okay! On the menu is Patience, with a side of Gratitude and Wisdom. For desert, lets have a slice of Faith. We can add a glass of wine with all of that and we're good to go!

What are you feeding your mind? Join me for a mental meal. Patience is our steak. Gratitude is the mash potatoes and Wisdom is our spinach. Faith is our peach cobbler. Patience is the main part of the meal because it takes so much patience to wait on God and to wait on life to play out. Every aspect of living requires patience. If you go to college, plan a wedding, save for a vacation, sit in traffic, and even take medication, it takes patience. Waiting on a family member to get their life together and even trying to lose weight all requires patience. Without patience, we would be grumpy and we'd place unreasonable expectations on others to give us this and that. Patience is critical in waiting on God to move within your lives. God's timing is not our timing so it takes patience.  Then there's gratitude. Gratitude for what we already have. How can you appreciate the more, if you don't appreciate what you do have. Acknowledging your current blessings. Saying "thank you" never hurts anybody and giving thanks to God for what he is doing of which we can see and those behind-the-scenes moves. It all  involves having a heart of gratitude. What about Wisdom? Wise men have built cities without ever setting foot in a classroom. Wisdom! Knowing when to be quiet. Dealing with foolish people without compromising your character. Understanding how to live as God directs. It takes wisdom.

Having patience, gratitude and wisdom are great qualities, but don't forget faith. Faith is such a sweet quality to have. God only requires a small amount of true faith. No one has to put a large down payment of faith. You can get started with a dab. To have faith makes life sweet. Who wouldn't want to not worry but trust God instead? Who wouldn't wanna believe God's promises for their life verses believing something bad. It takes faith. How can your dreams come true without any faith. Why pray if you have no faith? Faith feels better than fear. Faith feels better than doubt. We need faith.

So what's for dinner? Patience, Gratitude, Wisdom and some Faith. And don't forget the wine!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mannequin Mindset

Ever heard the term, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Seems like that term was always used to describe something that was not so attractive. Yes, it is true that one person can find something beautiful while another person could find that same something not so beautiful. Each person's eyes and their way of seeing things can vary. When it comes to how you see yourself, you get the final vote on whether you are considered as being beautiful. Your definition of beautiful for yourself exceeds any person's definition of beautiful for yourself. Fashion magazines offer different examples of beauty. Television display more versions of beautiful too. Beautiful has many faces. You can visit a popular high-end clothing store and see the various mannequins dressed with perfection in the finest and most expensive clothes, however is that beautifully dressed mannequin alive inside? Are some of us humans alive inside?

What good does it do any person to look beautiful on the outside and feel nothing about themselves on the inside. What a tragedy it is to look good and have the mannequin syndrome inside. A mannequin mindset with a model outfit. A mannequin mindset with a platinum necklace on. A mannequin mindset with the sweetest perfume on. A mannequin mindset with a beautiful body. What would all the exterior frills and thrills on the outside, amount to if we have nothing on the inside? Shouldn't we be the first ones to believe the very best about our own selves? Yes. What a loss to the greatness of our existence if we don't even see ourselves as a valuable worthy individual. A mannequin doesn't know whether or not it's beautiful. A mannequin ends up being exploited and used by whomever needs it. If a person does not value themselves or think that they are beautiful or worthy, then they are somewhat like a mannequin. Ready to be used and exploited with nothing on the inside of them to stop others from using them. Part of being used by others is now used as a tool of approval for the person who don't value themselves. This is a heartbreaking reality for many people.

How we see ourselves can be upgraded by many routes. One of the biggest ways to see yourself as valuable and beautiful is to agree with how God sees you. Just agree with him. God knows the number of hairs on each person's head. Can you imagine how long it would take you to try to count the strands of hair on your head? This same God made you special and beautiful. God was pleased with how tall or short you are. God was happy about the size of your head and God approved of the way you walk. The list goes on and on about what God likes about you. So why not agree with how he sees the beautiful valuable person he created? Just agree with him. You are not a mannequin. You are a beautiful valuable person who deserves the best. Each day you get up and out of bed, agree with how God sees you. Stop by the mirror and thank God for the beautiful valuable You!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Begin Again


How many times is too much? How many restarts can we elect to do? And when is enough, enough; when it comes to beginning again? The optimistics may say that a "do over" and to "begin again" is never worn out. The pessimists may say that a twice-start is more than enough. But what does your heart say about the art of beginning again? And why is it an art? The art of something is the beauty of it; the core essence of what makes it admirable. So their is beauty in beginning again and when a person is utilizing the courage that it takes to start again, that is admirable. So there is an art in beginning again and that journey is best led by your heart.

 I am a firm believer of heart journeys. Those are the journeys where you choose to follow your heart; allowing yourself to be heart-led. Many great doctors, famous inventors, actors and high achievers in business and unsung mothers, have made a mark in society and have shaped the world. What did they all have in common? They followed their heart. Something on the inside of them said to go further and they listened. Were they afraid? Yes, I'm sure they had some fears and definitely some doubts. But the voice of their heart was heard and so therefore, how can you ignore what is tugging on you from inside? What would they loose by beginning a journey. And if they had to begin again with the same journey, what would it hurt? The only loss is in not ever knowing where the journey would have taken you, simply because you failed to follow your heart. Now regret is the thing that hurts you because you chose not to listen to your heart.

 By no means, does this mean to lead yourself into a situation that will bring harm to you or bring consequential harm to others. Be careful of what source you choose to follow. You can follow your mind, you can follow your heart, you can follow what others tell you to do. But what matters the most in order to reach the desired destinations of your heart, is whether you followed your heart. The mind sometimes thinks too much. Every single detail and every step-by-step turn, can't always be laid out before we can get started or begin again. A plan is great, but how much information becomes too much just to get you to hit your start button. Sometimes you can reason within your mind about something and before you know it, you end up choosing to do nothing or you end up choosing to just stay right where you are. Some have sadly stayed in a dead-end job, simply because it was familiar.

 Get started or begin again. Follow your heart. There is no harm in following your heart. The only tragedy is in ignoring your heart and allowing fears and doubts to dictate whether you go on a heart-led journey to your success. Success already belongs to you, you need to go forward in order to get there.  ~Leen.


Monday, September 21, 2015

New Day

It takes 24 hours to continually roll by, in order to bring us to what is known as a "new day". And without fail, a new morning arrives. The sun rises and birds chirp somewhere. Faint sounds of other noises from insects remind us that we share this world with other living creatures. The wind blows and sometimes it rains. Every time we get up and out of bed, we have another opportunity with each new day....an opportunity to get closer. Closer to what gives your life meaning. Closer to your heart's dreams. Closer to your goals. Closer to the finish line of one of your journeys. Closer to Love. Closer to peace. Closer to healing. Closer to that item that you have been saving for. Closer! All of this closeness and opportunity, simply with a new day?
Yes!


When a person goes for a walk, at some point they will need to stop and rest. You just can't walk and walk and never rest up. Resting is important so that you can refresh and be able to carry on walking to your destination. When a new day arrives, it's like you just finished resting after a long walk. Now you can start back moving forward towards your dreams and goals. A new day allows you to start or keep going or finish. So what will you do with the opportunity of the new day? What will you not do?

Complaining, doubting, stressing, attacking yourself, thinking negative and DOING NOTHING; will not help you achieve anything. When has the art of complaining ever paid the bills? When has thinking negative brought prosperity? Or when has doing absolutely nothing, helped further your career or brought passion to a flavorless relationship? Since you are graced with a new day of opportunity, why be the force that hinders your own self? Can't someone else do that job? Is it really necessary for you to kill your own dreams or even allow another person to have the final power to discourage you? What am I saying? Don't help to throw away your opportunities with a mindset that hurts you and hurts your forward progress. Definitely, don't do that.

So first and foremost, take charge of your own mental tower. Your internal command center, which is housed in your brain. Set your brain, your command center, on 'manual mode'. You must manually program your mind to think in such a way that promotes your progress and propels you towards your dreams and goals in life. Don't allow your command center to operate on 'auto mode'. Since you didn't program 'auto mode', how do your know what to expect by functioning in 'auto mode'? Allowing your brain, your command center to function only in 'auto mode' could produce the kind of thinking that hinders you. Anything could take place inside of your head. Get in manual mode. You need to be in control of what your brain, your command center is thinking about so that your behavior falls in line with your thoughts and your dreams will not become strained in trying to unfold. Having that mindset in a healthy and prosperous mode, with each new day, you can seize the opportunity to start, keep going or finish one of those tasks that are the building blocks of your heart's dreams and desires.  ~Leen


Friday, September 11, 2015

Hide-n-Seek

Running around the neighborhood as a child playing hide-n-seek was a welcomed game. It was fun trying to figure out where someone was hiding and how fast can I get to that person to catch them. If you took too long to find someone, that usually meant that you weren't very good at the game but it also meant that the other person hiding, was very good at the game. Although, the object of the game was to catch someone who was hiding, as quickly as possible, that game feels so different in "real life". Playing hide-n-seek with finding love, is not a game and I'm not enjoying this search.

Where is love? Why is it hiding from me, and so carefully? Am I just not that good at finding love? Let's talk about it....We all want love. We all want to love someone and to be loved in return. It's a human fundamental need. With love comes so many great and wonderful things and of course, some hurtful things come along as well. I often felt that with all the people on this earth, it should not be that hard to find love. However, that quest is so particular and such a tailor-made experience that it makes the search quite difficult. More like trying to find the needle in the haystack. You know it's around, you know what it looks like, but getting to it is so tedious. So I guess I should think it through as to how to find love or at least be in position for love to find me. I started with myself. Work on me. One of the biggest assets I feel that a person should offer is a healthy mindset. So many people's mindset and level of expectations are not healthy or may be out of proportion as it relates to what they themselves have to offer or what they want from another person. In having a healthy mindset, am I willing to see love as a team effort....A commitment and support system that seeks to meet the needs of all team members? In managing expectations, will I recognize that what I can do and offer is what I can do and offer. What the other person can do and offer is what they can do and offer. How do we make both collaborations work so that both persons are fulfilled and happy? Hmmm....Having that healthy mindset trickles down to other areas from finances to sex to love to respect. So I'm definitely into working on me so that when that special someone arrives, whether I find them or they find me....then I am better prepared for the long happy ride of life as I travel with that special someone.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Routine Ready


Life can be a source of change and adjustments; some renewals and self-discovery. Redundancy is never far. Through it all, if we can still recognize who we are, then we're still on a path that has light. We know that we have not flat-lined from the hits and the routines of life.  It is often bittersweet to have a routine. Routines give us a sense of normancy but a dose of boredom if we aren't careful. We need routines. So what does a routine look like? For some it's simple, others it's complex. Wake up,  gear up, go to work, send a text, send an email, make a last minute call. Complain about something. Get off work. Go home. Gear down. Relax, bathe, eat, go to bed. Sleep. Wake up the next day. Press rewind. Whew! Thank God! But....what did you gain? What purpose did you fill along the way? Did you enjoy the ride? Are you dreading doing it all over again?

It's the answers to these questions that give life, meaning. The answers to these questions signal whether or not we are happy with our lives, happy with fulfilling our purpose and happy with our routines. What makes the routine worthwhile? Should we add a splash of laughter and a few vacations throughout? Is it a walk in the park or that bowl of ice cream? Is it the chance to meet a celebrity or to finally get that bonus check you waited on for so long? For some, it is simply the chance to have a routine, not taking it for granted but realizing that somebody somewhere is starving for a routine that some of so carelessly want to escape from. While I don't want to dismiss my routine, I try to make sure that as I go through the routine, I am living life and not just going through life. I spent many years, just going through the motions of life. Living life for other people. Doing what other people wanted. Taking care of other people, listening to other people's advice that didn't even apply to me. Exhaustion and feeling empty helped me to snap out of it! My routines are now designed to make the routine feel unpredictable. How? For example, I do laundry every week. Nothing spectacular. So one week I drunk a glass of wine and played music as I did the laundry. Another week I had my sisters come over and we laughed and talked as I did the laundry. The routines are necessary. Make the routine feel unpredictable. Make it interesting. -Leen